8th June 2020Category: General
It’s Carers Week, the annual campaign which raises awareness of caring.
Carers UK recently carried out a survey to understand how COVID-19 is impacting carers. The resulting report, Caring Behind Closed Doors, showed that although unpaid carers are fighting the same battle as care staff and many of our NHS workers: they are doing it behind closed doors and with far less recognition.
This Carers Week will highlight that now, more than ever before, it's time for us to come together and help Make Caring Visible.
Caring can be very complicated and costly. This is why it’s important to find out how you can get advice and support. There are many places that can offer information to carers, including your local carers' organisation!
We are able to provide information on benefits over the phone and support to complete paperwork at local clinics (when social distancing allows). Additionally, we can refer you to other relevant support services such as the DWP home visiting team, local Citizens Advice Bureau’s and Adult Social Care.
Looking after someone can be hard work. A carer’s assessment helps identify services which can help you with your caring role. Depending on individual needs and circumstances, we can support you to access grants and funding, carer’s breaks and occupational therapy.
Don’t forget that current carers can request a re-assessment if there have been any changes to their caring role.
Friends and family not understanding the situation, as well as a lack of free time, can often result in carers feeling lonely and isolated. Additionally, social isolation and social distancing can mean that carers find themselves removed from those normally around them.
More opportunities for breaks and social activities can help to combat these feelings. We are working on new ways to provide these during the restrictions, starting with our virtual “Cupcakes4Carers” event – see below for more information.
If ‘virtual’ isn’t your thing you can still speak to a support worker over the phone for 1:1 support.
To promote understanding among friends, colleagues and the public we are training Carers Champions in workplaces and the local community. If you think your workplace or community group would benefit from having a Carers Champion ask them to get in touch.
Sometimes a few words from someone who understands your situation can be a lifeline for carers. This can be difficult at the moment with the COVID-19 restrictions preventing us holding our usual get-togethers.
To overcome this, we are going to try something new this Carers Week - we’d like to invite you to join us at our virtual “Cupcakes4Carers” event.
This Facebook event will give you the opportunity to have a chat with other carers, and our support workers, as well as sharing your delicious cake and cuppa pics. Drop in anytime between 10am and 2pm on Wednesday 10th June.
Most people don't expect to become unpaid carers, but the reality is that there is a 50:50 chance that any one of us will become one, by the time we are 50 years old.
By raising awareness amongst the general public, we can better support carers, help more people anticipate caring in the future, and celebrate the huge contribution carers make to society.
To help get the word out there we will be launching our new Instagram account this week – give us a follow (and tell your friends) to help us share the caring message as wide as possible.
There are 6.5 million people in the UK who are carers. Everyone has a part to play in making sure these carers are seen, heard, and understood; and helping them to get the support they need to care.
You can help to make caring visible in your community.